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EPA Head Proposes Televised Climate Debates

Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt wants researchers to debate climate science on live television, Reuters reports. The televised debates would be part of Pruitt's new "red team-blue team" approach to evaluating climate science, going far beyond the normal peer review process.

"There are lots of questions that have not been asked and answered (about climate change)," Pruitt told Reuters, explaining that the initiative was inspired in part by Bret Stephens' New York Times column criticizing claims of certainty in climate science.

"If you're going to win and if you're so certain about it, come and do your deal," Pruitt said of climate scientists, though it's still unclear how experts would be selected to participate in the debates. "They shouldn't be scared of the debate and discussion."

Pruitt denied that the climate science debates would be aimed at unraveling the agency's endangerment finding, which gives the EPA the right to regulate carbon pollution—though the agency may still challenge the finding on a legal basis, he told Reuters. Should Pruitt, who has already begun the process of rolling back dozens of Obama-era environmental regulations, succeed in undermining the endangerment finding, the EPA would no longer be required to regulate carbon emissions.